Your need to know news for the week of Feb. 2 – Feb. 8
Here’s your weekly taste of what matters in the Bay and beyond.
ICE takes on the sanctuary – sanctuary fights back
Let’s be clear, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is pissed off at California for protecting immigrants. Acting Director Thomas Homan took to Fox News in December to declare that he wants to “take these sanctuary cities on,” going as far as suggesting that politicians in protective areas be charged with crimes. Northern California is feeling the brunt of his frustration as is evident from the 77 businesses targeted for I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) inspections in the past week. Results of the investigations, and potential fines and arrests will trickle in as the U.S. Department of Justice reviews the collected documents, as reported by SF Gate.
If Homan wants to issue punishments for those that buck the ICE agenda, he may have to look further than the political sphere, and that could get messy as many private citizens are making bold stands to protect their communities. Religious leaders have increased their presence in street protests and at Capitol Hill, where dozens of Jewish activists were arrested during a Jan. 17 sit-in. The Mercury News further reports that a “Rapid Response Network” is quickly growing and training ordinary people across the Bay to respond to active ICE raids as liaisons and witnesses, documenting each event to ensure civil rights are not violated during the process.
Save Alta Bates
Hundreds of people showed up for a community meeting in South Berkeley Saturday to fight against the impending closure of Alta Bates Hospital, as was reported on this site. The primary argument is about the loss of local emergency care. The hospital claims they can’t afford to retrofit the building that has served as a staple in the community for generations. If the emergency room is shuttered, locals will be forced to travel to Kaiser in Richmond or to Summit’s Oakland Pill Hill facility and as many objectors have voiced, “minutes matter.”
Fed puts a brick on Wells Fargo’s head
NPR reported that the Federal Reserve has actually handed down repercussions for Wells Fargo’s admitted practice of opening what could be millions of fake accounts in order to satisfy the bank’s “toxic high-pressure sales culture.” In addition to demanding that four board members be replaced, the Fed stipulated that the company cannot grow past its “total asset size as of the end of 2017.” It’s worth mentioning they claimed $1.9 trillion in assets at that time – let me repeat that, $1.9 trillion. The institution has a large presence San Francisco itself with a headquarters and stagecoach museum in the Financial District. Let’s see if they start charging admission for those tours as they’re forced to tighten their belts.
Danville native Zach Ertz makes it big in Philly. The Monte Vista High School and Stanford graduate was a second-round draft pick for the Eagles in 2013, and it looks like the pickup paid off as he scored the winning touchdown during Sunday’s big show, making the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl champions for the first time in the franchise history.
Although the Warriors have struggled to maintain their dominance in past few weeks, Stephen Curry seems to be scoring on an entirely different level. He and Ayesha announced that they are expecting a third child (and Curry Mini Me). Say what you will about Steph on the court, but you can’t deny the dude’s awesome role as a dad. Bring the Curry babies!
Meanwhile, at the very “White” House
Here’s your speed dating version of national news: The Nunes memo was released and turned out to be a big fat dud – in fact, it actually confirmed that the Russia investigation was initiated because of George Papadopoulos’s big fat drunk mouth in a London bar, and not because of the damn dossier. However, Trump didn’t miss a beat in making up his own reality and spreading it like bile to his base, claiming that it “totally vindicates” him, which it doesn’t…at all. The reportedly much more coherent and fact-based Democratic memo, prepared as a response to the Nunes shenanigans, has yet to see the light of day – we’re still waiting to see just how transparent Trump wants to be when it doesn’t serve his needs.
Nancy Pelosi attempted to shut down naysayers that believe she is too old to be effective in her position as Democratic minority leader and former speaker of the House. In 4-inch heels, she made history Wednesday with an eight-hour filibuster of sorts, using the time to read story after story about DACA recipients and pushing for the inclusion of a fix for “Dreamers” in the pending budget deal.
Speaking of budget, it looks like a majority of both sides have finally agreed to something more long-term than the incessant continuing resolutions they’ve been defaulting to. Considering yet another government shutdown looms at midnight, they’d better get on that vote quickly. However, not everybody is happy with the deal. Several members of the Republican House Freedom Caucus have vowed to vote “no” on the two-year deal that will add $1.5 trillion to the deficit (a matter that was once very important to Speaker Paul Ryan) and many Democrats are upset that a DACA fix will not be included, leaving nearly 800,000 Dreamers in a very scary limbo.